::laughing:: Oh my god. When I saw the name of this tumblr I took it literally at first, like "hell yeah CA rocks!" and had to come see for myself what kind of douchenugget would set up this site....so glad I did. This site is great. I'm so tired of seeing white people playing pretend with sacred items.
I was wondering if you had seen Genderbitch's awesome post about CA. It's a metaphor story explaining why CA is bad for people who are always making excuses for why they think it's okay.
Anyways, keep up the great work calling the bullshit as it comes along. :)
I understand your issues with the Native American headdresses and such, however, I have some questions for you.
I realize that dreadlocks are sometimes done for religious purposes, and that they have serious meaning in several different cultures. And I suppose that it IS cultural appropriation for a white, american girl to wear them. However...what is it that is actually wrong with this? I don't understand, so this is a sincere question. Isn't it sort of...racist to say that only THIS culture can appropriately wear their hair this way? Your blog has really made me consider this and think. What is your opinion?
SO HERE’S ONE WAY TO APPROACH IT, WHICH WE’LL CALL THE SEMIOTICS OF DREADLOCKS. ‘SEMIOTICS’ IS THE STUDY OF SIGNS AND THEIR MEANINGS, LIKE CHEMISTRY IS THE STUDY OF CHEMICALS AND STUFF.
SO A LONG TIME AGO, PAPA SAUSSURE, ‘FATHER OF MODERN LINGUISTICS’ (WHITE MAN, OBVI) SAID THAT A ‘SIGN’ IS COMPOSED OF A ‘SIGNIFIER’ (THE THING YOU USE TO SAY SOMETHING, LIKE A WORD OR AN ICON OR WHATEVER) AND A ‘SIGNIFIED’ (THE THING YOU’RE TRYING TO SAY, LIKE THE IDEA OF STOPPING) THAT IN FACT, THE ‘MEANING’ OF A SIGN DOESN’T LIVE IN THE SIGNIFIER ITSELF - ‘STOP’ - AND NEITHER DOES IT LIVE IN THE SIGNIFIED ITSELF - THE IDEA ‘STOP RIGHT HERE OR SHIT’S GOING TO GO DOWN’. A REAL ‘SIGN’ SORT OF JUST CHILLS IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TWO. THAT IS, A STOP SIGN ISN’T A SIGN IF NO ONE KNOWS THAT IT’S TRYING TO ‘SIGNIFY’ THE IDEA ‘STOP, GUY!’ IF YOU CAN’T READ A SIGN, IT MIGHT AS WELL BE RANDOM SCRIBBLES IN THE SAND (THINGS LIKE THAT ARE CALLED ‘ASEMIC,’ MEANING, ‘MEANINGLESS.’ WHOAH). ALSO, JUST LIKE YOU CAN’T THINK OF SIGNIFIERS JUST CHILLING BY THEMSELVES, NEITHER CAN YOU THINK OF SIGNIFIEDS JUST RELAXING, BECAUSE TO CONVEY MEANING, YOU NEED LANGUAGE. YOU CAN’T JUST HAVE IDEAS, YOU HAVE IDEAS THROUGH LANGUAGE. OK?
SO, ON TO DREADLOCKS. ‘DREADLOCKS’ ARE REALLY JUST A COMPLEX SIGN, IN THIS CASE, MADE OF HAIR. BUT JUST LIKE A STOP SIGN, DREADLOCKS AREN’T JUST HAIR, THEY’RE ALSO THE MEANING OF HAIR. FOR EXAMPLE, A DREAD RASTAWOMAN DOESN’T JUST HAVE ‘MESSY’ OR ‘COOL’ HAIR. SHE HAS A RIGHTEOUS SIGN OF HER DEDICATION TO JAH RASTAFARI. HER DREADLOCKS ARE NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT THE MEANING THEY CARRY. NOW, MEANING IS IMBUED WITH HISTORY - THINK OF THE CONFEDERATE FLAG - AND THAT IS ONE OF THE POINTS FUCK YEAH CULTURAL APPROPRIATION IS TRYING TO MAKE: YOU CAN’T JUST TAKE A CULTURAL SIGN AND ACT AS IF IT HAS NO HISTORY, AS IF A HEADDRESS OR DREADLOCKS JUST EXISTS ‘IN ITSELF.’ BECAUSE IF YOU DO, YOU’RE DOING A VERY REAL KIND OF VIOLENCE, YOU’RE TRYING TO BREAK A SIGN, YOU’RE TRYING TO BREAK MEANING. AND THESE MEANINGS CAN BE ANYTHING FROM RELIGIOUS DEVOTION, TO FAMILY LINKS, TO LINEAGE, TO HONOR, MOURNING, AND SO ON. CULTURE LIVES IN SIGNS, SO WHEN SOMEONE TRIES TO DENY THE MEANING OF SIGNS, THEY’RE TRYING TO KILL THAT SIGN, AND SO TRY TO KILL A LITTLE BIT OF CULTURE. IF YOU TRY AND APPROPRIATE SIGNS, YOU’RE TRYING TO LEAVE A CULTURE OF PURE SIGNIFIEDS, AND NO SIGNIFIERS. HOW IS A CULTURE GOING TO SIGNIFY IF YOU TRY AND TAKE ALL ITS SIGNIFIERS? AND ALSO, HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO SIGNIFY, IF YOU HAVE ALL SIGNIFIERS, BUT NO SIGNIFIEDS?
NOW, OF COURSE, SIGNS DON’T JUST HAVE ONE MEANING, THEY MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS IN DIFFERENT CONTEXTS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE INVERTED CHRISTIAN CROSS IS OFTEN UNDERSTOOD TO BE SATANIC. BUT IN A SCHOLASTIC CATHOLIC CONTEXT, THE INVERTED CROSS IS THE SIGN OF ST. PETER, AND SIGNIFIES HUMILITY EVEN IN THE FACE OF DEATH. OR THE SWASTIKA, WHICH IS A SACRED SYMBOL FOR TONS OF FOLKS AROUND THE WORLD, BUT WHICH GOT MADE A SHITSHOW OUT OF BY THE FUCKING NAZIS.
SO WHAT WE’RE SAYING ISN’T THAT THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY TO WEAR HAIR, OR THAT ONLY SOME ‘RACES’ CAN USE CERTAIN SYMBOLS. WHAT WE’RE ARGUING IS FOR AN UNDERSTANDING OF CULTURAL SIGNS AS REAL HEAVY SHIT, AND FOR A WAY OF BEING THAT TRIES TO READ SIGNS IN THEIR CONTEXT, IN THEIR FULL SIGNIFICATION, EVEN THE SAD, UNCOMFORTABLE PARTS, THE GENOCIDAL PARTS, THE SLAVERY PARTS, THE TRAIL OF TEARS PARTS, AND ALL THE PARTS THAT MAKE YOU RETHINK NOT ONLY YOUR HAIRSTYLE, BUT ALSO YOUR PLACE IN HISTORY AND YOUR ACCOUNTABILITY TO OTHERS.
I'm actually Native American and I'm way more offended by you guys being total dickholes than by anyone wearing a headdress. Are you actually trying to protect anything other than your own smug self-righteousness?
YO. WE’RE NOT TRYING TO ‘PROTECT’ AAAAAANYTHING. INDIANS AND COLORED FOLKS DON’T REALLY NEED SNARKY ASS BLOGS, WE’RE JUST DOING THIS ‘FOR THE LAUGHING OUT LOUDS.’
At what point does borrowing become cultural appropriation? I think the hipsters-in-headdresses fad is ridiculous and sick at best, but it seems like a whooole lot of things that are not all necessarily bad could fall into this category. One example mentioned on the site is a white kid listening to rap. Is it a bad thing for people to enjoy things outside of their cultural norms? Should we all stick within the stereotypical definition of what is acceptable for our race? What about mohawks, piercings, tribal tattoos, religious conversion, henna, etc.? Where do we draw the line? (Sorry if this went through twice)
BUT YEAH, HONESTLY, CULTURE IS A HUMAN THING, BUT CULTURE DOESN’T JUST HAVE A LOOK, OR AN AESTHETIC, IT ALSO HAS MEANINGS, HISTORIES, AND POLITICS. THERE’S A LOT OF HISTORY BEHIND WHITE PEOPLE APPROPRIATING BLACK DIASPORIC MUSIC - RAP, JAZZ, REGGAE, AND SO ON - AS PART OF THE GREATER PROJECT OF CULTURAL DISPOSSESSION. ALSO, THERE’S WHITE KIDS WHO GROW UP ON RAP, WHO LOVE RAP AND ITS HISTORY, ITS POLITICS, AND SO ON. THERE’S KIDS WHO LOVE RELIGION AND HONESTLY WANT TO LIVE A FAITH, AND THERE’S KIDS WHO BUY PLASTIC JAPA MALAS AND FAKE EAGLE FEATHERS TO HAVE A CERTAIN ‘LOOK’. HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT THE MEANING OF THE ‘MOHAWK’ FOR KAHNAWAKE PEOPLE? I MEAN, IMAGINE FOLKS WALKING AROUND WITH RANDOM ENGLISH LETTERS TATTOOED ON, OR WEARING YARMULKES OR PAPAL MITRES JUST CUZ THEY’RE STYLING.
FUCK YEAH CULTURAL APPROPRIATION DOESN’T BELIEVE IN BULLSHIT RACE IDEOLOGIES THAT TRY AND KEEP PHENOTYPES PURE, BUT WE DO BELIEVE IN SHIT LIKE CONSCIENTIOUSNESS AND ‘CHECKING YOURSELF’ AND ‘THINKING ABOUT DEEP SHIT LIKE CULTURAL SIGNIFICATION AND HISTORY AND SHIT.’
Can you believe that white guy, Peter Matthiessen, wrote that book "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse," about Leonard Peltier?
Or that other white guy Cormac McCarthy wrote that book "Blood Meridian" about how the Apaches had bounties on them in the mid-1800's?
Or how that William T. Vollmann guy (also white) wrote four books (of seven proposed) about Indians and their clash with Europeans?
White guys, appropriating Indian history for their own artistic greed?
Fuck Yeah Cultural Appropriation!!!!
This blog is great. Thanks for re-blogging that sequined-pantsed atrocity from me.
Much love from Oberlin College (If this blog isn't already based here. "Cultural appropriation" is a close second in disdain to "heteronormativity". And that's sayin' something.)
NA, BRA, WE’RE BASED OUT OF NYC. OH YEAH AND FUCK THE SHIT OUT OF HETERONORMATIVITY AND HETEROPATRIARCHY AND ALL THAT STUFF, THAT STUFF SUX.
MUCH LOVE BACK OUT TO OBERLIN, WHERE WE PROBS? HAVE FRIENDS OR FRIENDS OF FRIENDS ATTENDING.
OH MY GOD I HATE THIS KID. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, DROOPY-EYED MOTHERFUCKER, RABBIT-ASS LOOKING TEETH YOU’VE GOT. LIKE YOU’D EVER PASS FOR A MEXICAN. YOU WISH. THE ONLY GOOD THING ABOUT YOU IS THAT FORTY, AND THAT’S NOT EVEN A PART OF YOU, PUTTYFACE.
YO HOMEGIRL I HAVE GOT WHITE FUCKIN RELATIVES, K? LIKE, WHITE. LIKE, FUCKIN, LIKE WHITE COUSINS PROBABLY. I’D HAVE TO CHECK HOW THEY IDENTIFY. BUT LIKE, HOMEGIRL, WE’VE ALL GOT COUSINS, OK? DOESN’T MEAN SHIT.
'HOMEGIRL HAS CHINESE COUSINS…' JESUS CHRIST
WHO EVEN TOLD YOU YOU HAVE GOT PERMISSION TO FUCKING SAY ‘HOMEGIRL’?
(QUICK NOTE - PRETTY SURE ONLY WHITE PEOPLE WHO ARE ACTUALLY SOMEONE’S HOMEGIRL HOMEBOY HOMEGRRRL HOMEBOI AND SO ON ARE ALLOWED TO USE THIS MOST SPECIAL RELATIONAL TERM.)
That little kid with the teddy grahams you just posted could EASILY be native. My little brother is half native/half white and looks almost exactly like him. I find it kind of alarming that you immediately assumed that kid was white.
SO THIS IS A RIGHT ON COMMENT.
FUCK YEAH CULTURAL APPROPRIATION IS WELL AWARE THAT A LOT OF OUR INDIAN FAM IS SUPER LIGHT-SKINNED CUZ GUESS WHAT INDIANS LOOK DIFFERENT. IN REAL LIFE, WE’RE REAL INSISTENT ON NOT ASSUMING INDIGENEITY - OR ANY IDENTITY - BASED ON PHENOTYPE. OR FOR THAT MATTER, BQ. OR WHETHER YOU LIVE ON THE REZ. OR WHETHER YOU SPEAK THE LANGUAGE. OR WHETHER YOU LIKE TEDDY GRAHAMS.
THE LOGIC WE GENERALLY FOLLOW WHEN POSTING WHOLESALE LIGHT-SKIN FOLKS WITH HEADDRESSES ON THIS BLOG IS THIS:
WE HAVE NEVER, NEVER EVER, NEVER EVER EVER, SEEN AN INDIAN KID WEAR A HEADDRESS AND POSE FOR THE KIND OF PHOTOS WE POST. NEVER. NOT TO SAY THAT INDIAN KIDS CAN’T, OR SHOULDN’T DO WHATEVER THE HELL THEY WANT WITH THEIR OWN TRADITIONAL ATTIRE. THEY CAN AND SHOULD. HELL, I FUCKIN LOVE FEATHERY SHIT, EXCEPT MY PEOPLE DON’T REALLY WEAR IT. WE’RE MORE ABOUT MIRRORS AND RIBBONS AND EMBROIDERY AND SHIT.
BUT WHEN HAVE YOU SEEN INDIAN KIDS POSING FOR THIS KIND OF STUFF? IT’S ONE THING TO WEAR REGALIA, AND WEAR IT FUCKING PROUDLY EVEN IF YOU’RE GOOFING, CHILLING ON PLAINS LOOKING ALL PENSIVE, LIKE ‘MAN I FUCKIN LOVE ME SOME ANIMAL COLLECTIVE’ N SHIT. BUT HONESTLY, THAT’S NOT THE KIND OF STUFF WE POST.
SO ANYWAY- LOVING Y’ALL LIGHT-SKINNED INDIANS, BLACK INDIANS, REDNECK INDIANS, BROWN INDIANS, TALL ASS INDIANS, ITTY BITTY FUCKING INDIANS, LONGHAIR INDIANS, BUZZCUT INDIANS, GRASS DANCE INDIANS, WAL-MART INDIANS. UM, FUCKING… IRISH INDIANS.
OH. AND ALSO WE’RE GOING TO STOP POSTING KIDS, JUST FOR YOU, CAPTAIN CONSCIENTIOUS. HUGS.